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On martyrdom (Part 1)

We're going over the book of Acts in my Bible study group. We recently went over the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7, and did a related study looking at the concept of martyrdom. Here are some relevant quotes on that topic, from various persons:

If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.
 - Martin Luther King Jr.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.
 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.
 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
 - Jim Elliot

Those willing to die will live, and those willing to live will die.
 - Yi Sun Shin

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
 - Jesus, in Matthew 16:24, 25

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."
 - Jesus, in Luke 14:25-33

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
 - Jesus, in Revelations 2:10

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
- Paul, 2 Timothy 3:12

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
 - Jesus, in John 15:18

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 - Jesus, in Matthew 5:10-12

My next post will explore the ideas in these quotes.

You may next want to read:
On martyrdom - a parable (Part 2) (Next post of this series)
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
The Gospel: the central message of Christianity
Another post, from the table of contents

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